What is naturopathy?
The central idea of naturopathy is to discover and treat the root cause of the disease or discomfort rather than to just suppress or otherwise manipulate (or mask) the symptoms.
All medical complaints have a point from which they start and flow on from there. However, we humans have become exceptionally gifted at ignoring those symptoms, masking them with coffee, alcohol, painkillers, food, recreational drugs or just more work – until things get so bad we can’t ignore them any longer.
The problem is that the longer we leave the real issue unresolved, the more it can affect other parts of the body and the more complicated the issues and their treatment can become (see the IBS example below).
Maybe your headaches are turning up more frequently. Or your indigestion or gut cramps are getting worse or your allergies are flaring. And treating them with painkillers, antacids, laxatives or cortisone, etc will only help modify the symptoms. They don’t treat the root cause of the problem.
And sometimes identifying the real cause of the problem can take a while to uncover and that’s why you may be asked to go for testing. Sometimes we can go straight to (and treat) the heart of the problem. And sometimes we need to work backwards to fix the issues one at a time in order to get to the real issue depending on what the real issue is.
Can you give me an example of how it works?
Sure. Let’s say you’ve got irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Which would you prefer;
A) You can continue to eat foods that irritate and damage the lining of your bowel, which results in unhealthy bacteria flourishing which then further compounds the problem. To boot, you keep getting every cold and flu going around. To treat it you’ve most likely be taking laxatives, fibre or other motility medications (and antibiotics for the colds) – all of which increase the irritation of the bowel and kill off beneficial gut bacteria and so it continues on and on.
B) Your naturopath suggests a food intolerance test, which comes back positive for several irritants. You eliminate these from your diet. At the same time your immune system is supported by herbal supplements and you’re drinking more water to flush your system out properly. You also lose some excess weight because your body isn’t craving the wrong kinds of foods. Over time, your gut and bowel bacteria are restored, the lining of your gut returns to normal and your immune system is reinvigorated. And you feel so much better.
To read more about naturopathy visit our FAQs page.